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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 10, 2015 6:00am-8:01am EDT

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we have spent about $686 billion there since the year 2001. you've already mentioned the number who have been killed and wounded. then recently, we had in the newspaper -- and you've acknowledged one of these -- these titles: u.s. wasted billions of dollars rebuilding afghanistan. that was in the papers back in september. then in october, afghan forces on the run. this was in the "new york times." also in the "new york times," which you have acknowledged, u.s. soldiers told to ignore sexual abuse of boys by afghan military. you know, i think of number 15 or 16 -- i've been here 20 years -- a general of the u.n. army sitting right here telling us what you told us. i believe you, there's no question about that. i believe number 15 who sat where you are today. then i go back to an e-mail that
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i got from the former commandant. a few years ago i asked him, general, i don't have the military background. how successful can we be in training the afghans to be soldiers and policemen? and, of course, we realize there is a problem with education in that country, and i understand that. but let me read what he said very quickly. "get real in training an army and police force. trainers are doing a wonderful job, but we don't have the time to make an army." and he closed by saying "every day somebody dies." my question to you, we are faced with a debt of $18 trillion. we're going to be debating in about a month a debt ceiling increase so we can borrow more money from foreign governments
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primarily to pay the bills for last year. the american taxpayer has got to know at some point in time there's going to be an end to this investment. money, blood, there's got to be an end to it. i heard something you were saying a while ago, and this is going to lead to the question. at some time, i've been hearing for 15 years from the generals like yourself that training the afghans to be policemen and security forces, it's going pretty well. it's fragile but it's going pretty well. it's been going pretty well for 15 years. that's not a criticism, i'm just making an observation. we at some point in time as a nation, and members of congress have got to understand, that we cannot continue to, as john
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sopko says, waste, fraud and abuse is worse than it was 15 years ago. that's not your responsibility, i understand that. but this thing has got to have an end to it. is that when the security forces can say we don't need any advisers from the coalition forces or the american military? will you give me some idea of how this thing is going to end the best you can? >> sir, thanks for the question. sir, if i could correct the record first. you said i acknowledge that we ignore the abuses, and that's not what i said. we do not, i do not. in my statement i said that we have policies that say you do not ignore the abuses, you report the abuses to your chain of command, so i would like to correct the record there if i could of what you just said. sir, again, on the financial piece and the continued support to the afghan security forces and to afghanistan and the people. yesterday was 14 years, so it has been a very, very long time. but as the chairman said, we
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have not been attacked. we live in the world we have. maybe not the world we want, but it's the world we have. this world is going to continue to be a very dangerous world and we're going to have people who want to continue to do harm to the men and women here in the united states. as i said earlier, and i would say for a modest continued investment, we can protect not only our homeland but continue to build -- >> general, i apologize for cutting you off, particularly after a four-minute question, but we have limited time and numerous members. if you ever want to extend your answer in writing, please feel free to do so, but we're going to have to try to keep to the time limits today. ms. sanchez? >> mr. chairman, i for one appreciate the four-minute question. thank you, mr. jones, for reminding this committee what is happening in afghanistan. so it's pretty much been a failure.
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general, do you know how many people we have recruited and trained over the years for the afghan army and police forces? >> ma'am, currently today we're authorized to have 352,000. that includes the army -- >> i'm not asking what you're authorized as far as billets. i'm asking how many people have we paid on the payroll to be, over these 14 years, in the afghan army and police? >> ma'am, i have to take that for the record. i don't have the answer. >> you can stop. i've only got five minutes. so i have plenty of friends in afghanistan who have gone over there. you know, we have phantom people on the rosters. we have 60-year-old men uneducated signed up for these
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afghan forces. we have tons of people who aren't paying that aren't even showing up for work. this has been going on and on and on. of those 360,000 billets that you say we have, how many of them are filled today, general? >> ma'am, the police are authorized 170,000, they have about 160,000 that are authorized today. the army has authorized 195,000, there's probably in the area of 173, 174,000 that are filled today. >> i think it would be important to get the number of how much we've spent training these people. you said in your testimony, "i remain concerned about the long-term viability of the afghan national defense and security forces. succinctly, afghan security
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cannot afford its security forces." you mentioned that 90% of these forces comes from the coalition and the majority comes from the u.s. so within your own current testimony, let alone the testimony that mr. jones brought before you from before, you basically are saying, i don't know that there's a long-term viability for these security forces, we're paying the majority of that. how much money does that mean, to have a force that you don't believe has a long-term viability? >> ma'am, if i -- >> how much. that's the question. how much? >> today for calendar year 15, $4.1 billion to build the afghan forces. >> 4 billion. >> we're not providing -- >> general, i've heard this for 14 years. it's going to be better, it's
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going to be more efficient, we're getting there. the reality is that we're not. we're not. mr. jones was right. my next question for you is operationally, what is our strategy in afghanistan? i heard the chairman. we haven't had 14 years of attacks coming out of afghanistan. i'll remind the chairman instead they went to somalia, instead they went to yemen, instead they went to iraq, instead they went to syria, instead they went to libya. so, you know, we can say we've concentrated our forces and our moneys in one place, but the reality is, and you and i both know this, they move. so what is the plan for afghanistan? >> ma'am, the plan is to continue to build the afghan security forces so they can protect the afghan people to have a stable government so it can provide for the afghan people, so the afghan people can
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have jobs, their kids can go to work, that they can be a viable country in that very part of -- >> thank you. 1 billion this year, you don't believe it's a viable strategy. let me ask one more question before my time is up, general. by the way, i just want to say i have a son who will be full-time in the u.s. infantry. we just found out. i love our forces. i think they're doing a good job. i'm talking about what we are doing as policymakers. did we ever find out how much money karzai and his cronies stole and put in swiss banks? >> general, if you want to provide that for the record, again, we're going to try to keep to the time limits. mr. forbes? >> chairman, thank you for this hearing. general, thank you for your service. you were educated at one of the best military academies we have in the world, west point.
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you have not just served but you've commanded for 35 years leading men and women defending this country. you've commanded in germany, haiti, iraq, afghanistan and the united states. you get to see with a set of eyes that few of us ever get to be able to look through. it is very easy for people to come in here and recount the price tag we paid in afghanistan. that's pretty easy. and there are people across america who ask what mr. jones asked: for what? what i'm going to ask you today, because as i look at your testimony, you have told us kind of what would have happened if we hadn't have been there. you said in 2015, al qaeda is attempting to rebuild its networks and planning capabilities. can you paint two pictures for us today? one, taking all of that experience you have, give us, in your best professional military judgment the danger to the united states homeland and the risk of loss of life in the
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united states had these individuals not made the sacrifices that you talked about and had we as a nation not made those sacrifices? and also, in your best professional military judgment, paint a picture to us of the danger of the united states homeland and the risk of loss of life to the united states if we pull out and do not continue to make those kinds of investments and sacrifices? >> sir, thank you for the question. again, we've been so fortunate in our country to have brave men and women who continue to join an organization that is not about them but about the greater good. i think all of our men and women understand that piece of it. without their great sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families, the people back here in the homeland, the people in europe would be at much greater risk of terrorist attacks. i don't think there's any doubt about that. i think in the future as we move forward, we have a lot of talk about isil and syria and iraq. we have a lot of talk about
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daish in afghanistan. if it's not daish in two years, it will be something different. if we think this will be cleared up in a couple of years, we're fooling ourselves. we have to position ourselves to ensure we can do everything we can to mitigate this impact. and the way to do that is to continue to apply pressure with a great special operating forces, with the great men and women we have in all of our services and to seek capability in afghanistan and other countries around the region so they can take it upon themselves. without that, the world would be much greater. >> tell us a specificity when we talk about this. if we hadn't been in afghanistan, if we hadn't done this, how would they have had a greater opportunity to strike the united states and do harm to us here at home? >> sir, they would have had sanctuary to continue to plan and devise ways they could
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taeb attack the homeland, they could attack europe. there is no doubt, i think, in anybody's mind there are people out there who want to do harm to people around the world. this terrorism will continue for years to come and we have to continue to do everything we can to prevent that. and the way to do that is to continue to put pressure on t. >> thank you, gentlemen. thank you for your service and the sacrifice that men and women under you have made throughout the years. i yield back. >> ms. davis? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and general campbell, thank you for your invaluable service to our country, all your sacrifices. you mentioned that our support is not unconditional. and i wonder if you could tell us within the context of the relationship that you've built with president ghani, which is really a quite extraordinary one, and in some ways i guess you would say you're fortunate that you have a willing partner. tell us more about what we
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could, should -- where have we, actually, used our leverage and clearly, you know, the fact they can't really afford their own military and we need to be there on their behalf, what could we be doing? what have you seen that has helped to direct to provide the impetus to move forward in governance that is really important? >> ma'am, i've seen it really at my level through moi and mod, ministry of interior, ministry of defense, that everything we do is based on conditionality. there are certain things they have to do. if you don't do this, we do that. if you don't do that, we do this. for many years if they didn't do that, we would provide it to them. what we need to do now to make sure they're not very dependent
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on that, we have to change behavior. and i think by putting conditionality at the moi and mod level, we can do that. we are fortunate we have president ghani that wants to work not only with the u.s. but the entire international community. president ghani personally chairs a national procurement meeting every week that i looks at contracts, and he has a board that does that to get after corruption. we've asked him to go after that. we've asked him to make some tough choices seeing abdullah working on governors and police chiefs and naming the right leadership and picking leadership based on merit and not who he knew. those are ways we can put pressure on the government as well to move forward. if i can add, ma'am, president ghani welcomes conditionality. >> has that been effective in moving some discussions as well with even the pakistanis as we
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move into negotiations at some point with the taliban? is there anything that we've seen with that conditionality that's kind of pushed that situation along? >> yes, ma'am. on the pakistan side, i think it was noted a couple months ago that both state department and department of defense work every day with pakistan to look at how they can continue to do more to fight terrorism and how they can go after hakani, how they can do things here that enable their forces and their people to be safe, but at the same time not destabilize afghanistan. so i think there are conditions that we can use with pakistan there. >> are we able to do that as well in talking about the constitution and the ability to not withdraw, i guess, from that human rights issue? how have we been effective with
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that? what else needs to be done as we move forward to ensure that those issues are dealt with? >> ma'am, i think if i saw that we needed to apply conditionality to something like that, i would absolutely do that. when i went to president ghani on the abuse of sexual children, he said, we have a law, our constitution covers that, but i will reinforce that,ly make sure all my security forces understand that. if he didn't do that, that would be something i could come back and say, mr. president, if you don't do this, i can look but again president ghani welcomes the conditions. it makes them tougher. it makes them accountable and they understand that the money, not only the money, but the blood, sweat and tears and the sacrifices of the nations is personal to them and the international community. so they welcome conditions and they want to make sure that we understand that they're very appreciative of that. and so, unlike where we were,
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you know, over a year ago without the national government, we're in a completely different place. >> you have all the authorities you need and no additional help from the congress to do that? >> ma'am, i'm comfortable with the authorities i have today. yes, ma'am. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. mr. miller? >> thank you. in 2004 there was a decision of 9,800 troop level. my question, i think is simple but it may not be and the security question is is security better or worse than then today? how could we entertain troop levels of 5,000 or 1,000? >> sir, again, in 2014, the number of u.s. forces, coalition forces, we had verse what we have today is different so the security on them i think is one thing because unfortunately we
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have lost some great men and women over the last year, even resolute support. but i think we balance that based on the number of people we have had there and security, looking at force perspective. from an afghan perspective, again, that is very, very tough fighting season and they knew it was going to be a very tough fighting season and the taliban knew because we were redeploying, because our numbers would go down, they would try to send a message. and so, not having close air support like we had in the years past, emboldened the taliban in some places to go ahead and attack in large numbers we hadn't seen before. the afghan forces i think stepped up for the most part. they've made corrections. they're resilient. there have been some setbacks like in kunduz and northern helmand. but unlike iraq and afghanistan, they're not the same, afghans plan, reorganize, resupplied, put the right leadership in place and continue to fight and protect the people but taking the security attacks and the
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compare it from '14 to '15 it's very, very difficult because we're not out there in the numbers we were before but it's very tough fight, sir, on both sides. >> and i will yield the balance of my time to mr. turner but i have one comment to make and it is a plea. and i know you can't discuss the gunship incident in kunduz but i would plead with you, sir, please don't let the crew of that aircraft nor those americans that were on the ground that guided that fire, where they did, become scapegoats. >> try -- we have an investigation, sir, as you know and the investigation will give me the facts and i'll make sure the committee has all that as we learn more. >> thank you. i want to echo mr. miller's comments. i think everyone is very
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concerned about that investigation and how it -- and that those certainly who had no involvement in a mistake, no culpability in the mistake do not have consequences. we had a conversation about the 9/11 commission report. when we first got the 9/11 commission report delivered to the congress it had a chapter in it, chapter 12, that detailed what to do in the future and we shouldn't do. it specifically said that our fight was not against al qaeda and osama bin laden solely and if we viewed our fight as that, we would lose. that it was islamic extremism and worldwide terrorism. when we look at iraq, it's clear that we have not heralded chapter 12 because we have seen isis take hold and now threaten our homeland. you have made recommendations that we continue to hold troops in afghanistan. you have both isis and daesh, isil and daesh there. can you tell us if you withdraw the troops down to 1,000 the
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affect on both the safety of our troops and the ability of our effectiveness for counterterrorism actions in afghanistan? >> sir, if we came to -- down to 1,000 embassy presence as you just discuss, there is no counterterrorism structure force in those numbers. and then, if you draw down to that size in one location, you're solely dependent upon the force protection for that particular site. by with and through outer layer that is we would not have that we have had in the past. i'm not sure if that answers your question, sir. >> it does. which it totally cripples our ability. aren't the forces that are left behind at a greater risk without a larger footprint? >> sir, they are in one location. the enemy would know where they're at. but we would do everything we can to make sure we mitigate force protection number one
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concern for me. and as we continue to draw down, every commander would make sure they do everything to ensure the right force protection. it would be high risk, sir. >> -- the country, the effects of your ability to counter daesh as they enter the country? >> at the 1,000 number, there's no ct aloe case at in that. >> thank you. >> mr. courtney? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for your service and testimony here today. you have probably one of the most complex missions i think almost you can possibly even imagine so, again, we really appreciate your efforts. and again, i want to associate myself with mr. miller's remarks about the investigation. i think it's also important to underscore when you're talking about doctors without borders, i mean, it was almost exactly a year ago that they were working hand in hand with our military in africa taking on the ebola challenge. they are a valuable international resource and
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that's why i do think this requires the absolute top level of scrutiny and independence in the investigation. i would like to turn for a moment, againing on your comments regarding the afghan security forces which at the end dift i really do think is kind of the lynch pin in terms of a strategy to hand off, you know, power and security in that part of the world. in particular, the a.l.p. your comment, you made sort of an interesting comment in the testimony how they were misemployed and talking about corruption issues a enthe need to root out corruption, they fracly, have been a big topic of conversation, again, not with just sort of knee-jerk critics of u.s. forces over there, but frankly, even people who want to help the mission. can you talk a little bit about where president ghani is in terms of the a.l.p. and, you know, because, again, the criticism is they're kind of gone rogue out there a lot and
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there's been complaints within the civilian population about how they operate. >> sir, thanks for the question. we have looked at the afghan police. they're authorized 30,000 in 174 different districts in afghanistan. and they belong to the minister of interior on the police side. what the minister did is sign a directive to go to the provincial police chiefs to make sure they have done all the right vetting, all the right trains. they have the right leadership in place. and that they don't misuse them. so in some places a.l.p. put out in smaller checkpoints from a village and designed to do is be sort of that village security that stabilization there. and when they get taken out 5 kilometers, 10 kilometers without mutual supporting fires, support, reinforcing support, they're easy targets for the taliban and other insurgent groups. and not only because of that and
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casualties taken, not only that, because they have potentially some issues with leadership, taking advantage of that, he has done a holistic scrub of the a.l.p. and continued to try to force the provincial police chiefs to meet all the same standards that we have had in place and some places they haven't done that well so he is reentergized that and working hard with him to do that. he had the police chiefs back into kabul and the entire conference on a.l.p. and how to make sure we don't have the issues you talked about. >> i think it's powerful message there's real change happening if there's reforms that the government can really talk about. >> and, sir, as miss davis talked about, one of the things of conditionality, we haveality on the a.l.p. if they don't get through the reforms, they don't abide by the vetting procedures we don't pay. so that is a condition we put on them. >> seems like a pretty good leverage so thank you, general. i yield back. >> mr. wilson?
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very grateful to see largely, general, bipartisan support for your efforts. i have had the great opportunity 12 times over the years of my service in congress to visit. i have seen a civil society develop. it is just so inspiring to go along streets and see little girls with white scarfs going to school, carrying books and warms our heart and guys in baseball bats not indigenous to afghanistan. these are people who are truly working to develop a civil society and i just want to thank you and very personal. my appreciation of your service. my youngest son hunter served as an engineer for a year in afghanistan. and i just know he was making a difference by helping build that country, rebuild -- begin from -- from the beginning. so that -- to protect american families at home. and you have. additionally, i'm grateful as a
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veteran. my unit, the 218th brigade served there under bob livingston and the largest deployment from south carolina since world war ii. 1,600 troops and spread all over the country and they were pepg train forces and they were so inspired. these are lifelong friends of mine and they would let me know what they think and they think and know that they were working with -- who they identified as their afghan brothers so just -- i'm regret that so much -- hey, bad -- i can remember the first time i went to afghanistan with sheila jackson-lee. she pointed out that bad news has no feet and -- excuse me. what is it? good news has no feet and bad news has wings. and wow. but the bad -- the good thing is that extraordinary progress has been made and i agree with the chairman, too, that success in
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afghanistan is to deny terrorists safe havens which protects american families and that we cannot forget it was september 11th, 2001, the attacks on our country, that were originated, planned and culminated from caves in afghanistan so i'm just very appreciative of your efforts and the largely bipartisan support we have here w. that in mind, with this special operations reliance of support from conventional forces, if conventional forces are reduced, as has been called for, how can special operations fill in this gap? >> sir, today, we continue to tactical level train, advise and assist with the special forces and they do a tremendous job. we don't have conventional forces at the kandac brigade level. i only have them at the core level at the six cores and the ministry level and we're not really doing that much with the conventional force. the special operation forces
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continue to do great, great work every single day, sir. >> with your leadership, i appreciate it. additionally, i'm concerned about the information and intelligence sharing between the u.s. and afghan national defense and security forces. as it leads to operations in afghanistan. can you speak of what is necessary to improve the coordination cells and advise and assist cells throughout the country? >> sir, we have a dedicated effort what we call an essential function seven strictly intelligence and how we work with the m.o.i. and m.o.d. to share intelligence and same time build their intelligence capability. their enterprise. i think we have made great strides there. this year they established an nasrad center, basically a national intel fusion cell that brings in intelligence from the m.o.i. the m.o.d. the ntsment their intel organization to produce national level targets. the difference that that's making is pretty huge. but i think we continue every
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day to build upon their capacity and seen some great, great progress in the operations based ep at the tactical level on the intelligence structure. and not only in the hardware side, but also, on the human capital side for intelligence. >> that's so important to prevent collateral damage and is of course your goal. as i conclude, again, i'm just so grateful for your service, the service of american military personnel. having been there, i have seen -- the country was totally destroyed, a consequence of a 30-year civil war. there was nothing really to see except rubble. and then to see the rubble removed, the streets paved, for the first time, to see little shops develop, to see opportunity for schools, for bridges to be built and opportunity -- and we sent unites to work on agriculture for to advance. thank you very much.
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i yield my time. >> miss son gas? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for being here today. i appreciate very much your testimony. and like so many, all of us here, i like -- and like many americans, i was so alarmed to learn of the tragedy at the doctors without borders facility in afghanistan. and i look forward to your investigation in a hopefully very transparent one. but appreciate how serious you are taking this. but i wanted to go to a different place in questioning. as you're wrestling, general, how best to enable afghans to secure their country and what kind of support is necessary to aid them in that effort, i'd really like to hear about -- more about what you're doing to ensure that afghan women, 50% of the country's population, is part of your process. i have been part of a delegation, at least six trips over that focused on one visiting with our women who have so ably served us and for whom
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we're so dwratful and also with an emphasis of learning more about the changes that the presence wrought in the lives of afghan women and it's been very promising. over and over again, you know, we hear the real differences that have taken place. and i remain concerned that whatever our way forward may be, how best we secure those gains that we don't trade them away in a reconciliation process, we don't adequately train afghan national security forces whether it's local police, national police, whatever it may be because it obviously is requires a culture change and that culture change has begun but it is very fragile. so i'd like to hear in your work with the train, advise and assist with the security forces, how you address the rights of women so that these security forces who hopefully will remain in place to secure the future
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life of their country also are committed to securing the lives of the women who are very much a part of their country. >> ma'am, thank you for the question. every day president ghani, the doctor, they speak of this. i think with their leadership and our continued train, advise and assist that the future for engaging women in the military both on the police side and the army side continues to improve. and they put more of a spotlight on it. we continue to assist. this committee with earmarked money helped us to really emphasize not only infrastructure to house, to take care of women in the military, to protect them, i think it's been pretty critical. we're thankful of that. i have a women advisory xhilt tee i co-chair with ms. ghani that meets quarterly to talk about different issues. at my level, her level, we meet quarterly. ms. ghani over the month or so meeting weekly to push some issues on the women's side with both the police and army and that's very, very good.
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as you know, for the police, it's a little bit easier as you recruit women into the police. they go through training. they can serve from where they're at. the army -- >> the question i'm asking really, yes, i think it's very important that the security forces, local police, whatever, reflect the population and i appreciate the efforts, especially congresswoman davis in making sure we provide some element, female presence in the afghan national security forces but the reality is most of those forces are men and they have a certain cultural -- have had a certain historical approach to women but it's really about how we train the men to protect the rights of women and curious as to how that piece is moving forward. >> ma'am, they do some of that in their assessment training, the basic training of rights of not only women but men and so i think they continue to work that. it's about education, training, holding people accountable and i think they continue to go after
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that. i think as they see more women in positions of inl creased responsibility, they see more women tied in with the special operations forces and women that do that with them to help go on objectives, search other females, it is actually pretty incredible and when the men see this and how they contribute, i think it has a change in attitude. but as you know, the army, the police only been around for a couple of years. it takes time. we put conditions on recruiting women, how they do that and i think they'll continue to improve. but, you know, as you said it, it takes time and took time for the united states army to get above 15%, 16% at west point. so i mean, this is something they're focusing on and with the leadership of president ghani, the doctor, i see good things forward. >> you have spoken of conditionality, leverage to achieve certain goals that there may be some resistance to.
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is that a tool in your tool box moving forward? >> yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. conway. >> thank you for being here. you mentioned about your families and the role they've played. you thanked them. i want to make sure they hear that same thanks and heartfelt admiration for what they've done and steadfast they are and allowing you and your team to do what you do. thank them very much on our behalf. what can we glean from what the taliban did, the tactics and procedures, did they use? and the afghan response, was it all or -- you know, give a grade for that? walk us through that and what kind of advice and assistance did we provide them in that response or was it all organic? >> sir, thanks. thanks for the family piece, as well. in kunduz, quite frankly, the afghan security forces were surprised. president ghani has directed a commission to take a look, sort of an after action to figure out
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exactly what happened. they're continuing to work that now but in a nutshell kunduz has about 250,000 people in it. predominantly inside the city is police. outside the city there are pockets of the army. over the period of the holiday, many leadership of the police and army were not present. the taliban probably had a lot already inside the town and right after that time period, they attacked from within the city. the police fought and did not take a lot of casualties and when they didn't see reinforcements from the army, they kind of melted out and i don't think the taliban had any intentions to continue to hold kunduz but they got a great i.o. victory going in there raising the flag. the difference here i think is that the afghan security forces responded very quickly. they got the right forces up there. they moved a lot of logistical resupplies up there. they changed leadership out and once they got back into the city, the taliban for the most part left. there are and today continue to be isolated pockets of resistance and fighting. a very small group inside of an
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urban area can hold up battal n battalions worth of people. i talked to the minister of defense right before i came over here. he was in kunduz, earlier today. and told me that he sees great progress as they move forward. he still said fragile in kunduz and confident that the major areas of kunduz they own. what did we provide, sir? for the most part, this was afghan led. they got themselves back into the city. had a couple of special operating teams that were south of the city that provided some planning, training, advise, for the special training forces and an expeditionary advisory team into an airfield south of kunduz to provide the core level headquarters and planning, logistically planning capability. >> thank you. ghani and abdullah in it for about a year now. what kind of marks would they get for running the trains on time, water, elect tris tricitye
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things you expect and what does that tell us about the conversation that is out there that it's a fragile government, likely to not be resilient? can you talk just about those two issues? >> sir, i think if you're in kabul, for the most part, you'd give them a probably "c" although with high profile attacks inside of kabul that would be lowered. i think if you're on the skourt skirts you're in a far away province, your grade is lower. they haven't seen the governance they said. they continue to move forward. it is a very, very tough environment but they can't to improve. they have made change in almost all the ministers. they have changed out most of the governors. they have key positions to continue to work together on. at the levels of afghanistan
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tied into, ghani and abdullah, there's no daylight between them and picking people and who's going to be the minister and provincial police chief and understand how important that is and i think they'll continue to do everything they can to make this work but they do have to engage better with the afghan people, not only in kabul but outside the city much better. >> and the time we have left, can you give us from your perspective the international community's continued financial support? it is key, obviously. already been said, they can't already afford the forces they have got. can you talk to us about the expected or what you see as the international community's heart to stay in the fight? >> sir, thanks. i tried -- i don't think right now we have donor fatigue. i think the international community understands how important this is. next year at the warsaw summit, i think july of 2016, they'll look at funding for 2018, '19 and '20. i think afghanistan has to keep showing progress and the donor
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support is absolutely crucial because afghanistan cannot afford what they have now. they're working it hard. president ghani is a right guy to do that with his experience but the economic environment is tough. >> thank you, general. >> mr. rourk? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, first, i want to thank you for your service and your leadership and through you i want to thank all of the men and women currently serving in afghanistan and who have served in the past. i want to ask you a couple of questions about the bombing in kunduz or the attack on the hospital in kunduz. and i recognize that there is an investigation ongoing but want to ask you per your knowledge why the afghanistan national army called that strike at that location. >> sir, again, that's a question that we're concerned.
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the investigation. i wouldn't with an i wouldn't want to get out in front of the investigation. there's a d.o.d. investigation. a nato investigation. an afghan investigation. >> is there ever a scenario where it is okay to strike a hospital? >> sir, hospital's a protected facility. we would not target a hospital. if i can go back to the first part of your question. when the afghan call for fire, that's not an automatic response. so every day the afghans ask me for close air support and we don't just go fire some place. there's a rigorous procedure for aerial fire on the ground. under the u.s. authorities. and so that's what we have to figure out what happened in that case but i don't want people to think that just because the afghans call fire there's automatic fire anywhere they want it. that's not the case. >> my last question on this is, are you aware of press reports
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within afghanistan that that hospital was treating taliban and non-taliban combatants alike which raised the ire of the afghan national forces who had conducted a raid at that hospital days before or weeks before that strike? >> i've seen media reports about taliban treated in the hospital, yes, sir. but that's -- >> that would not be a justi justification for a strike on the hospital? >> no. >> related question and one i think you can speak openly about. can you talk about the terms of the security agreement with afghanistan and under which conditions we can use lethal force? and i understand there are exceptions for counterterrorism activities. there are exceptions for when u.s. forces are under attack. and there are exceptions for urgent situations. could you characterize our involvement in kunduz under
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those exceptions or others that we may not be familiar with? >> sir, again, i'm not going to talk about kunduz or what happened in kunduz and any time we talk about detail authorities of rules of engagement, i would not do that in a public hearing. i'll be happy to do that in a closed hearing, sir. >> this might be my last question. how do you balance the need to ensure that we are adequately supporting the afghan national army, not abandoning them, and continuing with the train, assist and advise operations, and not at the same time creating a prolonged moral hazard where they know that u.s. support will be there year in, year out and they may not make some of the difficult political decisions, investment decisions in
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side it is different and they have to pick up the fight and they have to want it more than we want it. international community and the u.s. be there and a decision to continue to provide support would make a huge impocket in supporting president ghani, supporting the afghan people, supporting the afghan security
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people. the message to taliban, pakistan and nato i think are pretty huge, as well. so decisions here upcoming as we look forward would have an impact on all of those audiences. >> when will we likely get the results of your investigation of the kunduz attack? >> sir, i talked yesterday with the investigating officer. he is working it very hard. i should have some preliminary investigation results here in the next -- yesterday i was asked and i said within about 30 days. i don't have an exact day but as soon as i get those. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. scott? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here. just a couple of quick questions. i don't wa then i want to specifically get to the close air support capabilities but harry reid has promised earlier this week to uphold the president's veto of the ndaa. the president has not vetoed that legislation yet.
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but just wondering if you and the other leaders of our military have had the opportunity to speak with the president about the importance of the ndaa since it's passed. and how do assess the additional risk if that bill is vetoed and the veto is upheld by senator reid as he's promised to do? >> sir, to be candid i have not talked with the president on the ndaa and for several weeks, i've been focused on afghanistan so i couldn't give you a good answer there. >> we asked you to do an awful lot and on this end of the -- you know, with no ndaa, no budget and certainly you and your men and women are being judged a standard of perfection and that's kind of an unfair scenario that i think that we put you in and extremely
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important mission. i represent the home of the 81st at the air force base. we are training the afghan pilots to fly the a-29 light assistant aircraft, a gap. you said is close air support. you're expecting these aircraft in theater pretty soon? we originally planned for 40 of them. we're now expected to deliver 20. how many do you expect to see delivered? how many do you need? and, could you speak to just that issue generally? >> sir, we are looking forward to get the a-29 super socani. i'll six in december time frame and more in '16 and '17. we don't close out the program of record i think until mid to late 2018. that's a great camability they're lacking. i have asked for a study to take a look at the close air support
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capability of afghanistan in a rotary wing and fixed wing cape b89. until that goes through, i couldn't make a call on numbers but we are looking at 20. i don't get the first five or six until the end of this year and we look forward to that. the afghans look forward to that yes, sir. >> you think they have the ability -- they have enough impact to change the fight? >> sir, if they would have had the a-29 this summer, it would have been a game changer in some locations. yes, sir. >> thank you, general, for your service and what you and your men and women do. i yield the remainder of my time. >> mr. lanzman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i want to thank you for your testimony here and most especially for your service to our nation which is invaluable and i hope you'll pass our appreciation on to the men and women under your command.
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first of all, general, again, i'd like to better understand the current situation in afghanistan and i hope that today's discussion will continue to not only inform our overall strategy but will also serve to better protect our men and women in uniform and coalition partners on the ground. we have seen too many lives lost in this conflict, obviously. like master sergeant andrew mckenna of bristol, rhode island, killed in a terror attack in kabul. we have obviously, everything to do in our power to ensure that our policies in afghanistan maximize our strategic gains while minimizing the tragic loss of lives that we have seen too frequently across the headlines. make no mistake about it, general, the work that you and the people -- men and women in uniform there serving in afghanistan are vitally important work and i know
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they're defending us here at home and presenting those who would plot and plan against us from coming here. at the same time, but still a big frustration on the part of the committee and certainly the part of my constituents that the afghan forces are not further along in their training and where we need them to be. i'd like to begin with a "the new york times" article from yesterday in which a senior afghan military officer blamed a lack of coordination among afghan forces for recent taliban advances. this relates to your mention of the need to improve -- for improved leadership and accountability of nsaf in your testimony. i would like to ask you directly, you know, how do you explain to the committee, how do i explain to my constituents back home as to why after the 14 years of effort and training and presence there and the billions of dollars that we have been spent -- lives lost, the people that have been injured, why the
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afghan forces are not further down the pike and in their training and why are they not where we need them to be? and i'd also like to ask you directly what you need with regards to time and resources in order to help build strong leaders. nsaf are missing to sustain themselves beyond our eventual withdrawal. >> sir, thanks for the question. i think very quickly where the afghan forces where they plan, preplan, where they work together, both the cross preliminary organization, the police and the army, they conduct operations, work together and preplan, they do very, very well. where they don't, it's crisis mode, that's why where they continue to need help in working that. when they don't work together you're right, sir. they don't do well. but again, i would say we have been there for 14 years but this army continues to be very, very young. we have just started their air force the last three, four, five years, the army's been around
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for eight or nine years. the police about the same time frame so it continues to be a work in progress but i would tell you they are -- they can do a lot of things very well. but the areas that they have issues in are any areas of any army would have and sustainability, close air support, special operating force capability, they're tough pieces for u.s. army to do. they've been fighting at the same time, trying to build this army. and so, i see continued progress. i've been there three times, first time in 2002-2003 timeframe and they are today is light years from where they were there. i do see progress. their special operating capability, i mentioned probably last time i was here take four m-517s and in kandahar, a small landing zone, special operators off the back, a little ipod
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device giving them full motion video, to a high-value target. i told that story and asked people to think about open your eyes and think the s.e.a.l.s, the doiranger, the delta. they have that capability. they continue to get better and better. they have gaps and seams we knew they would have that we have to continue to train, advise and assist on. >> thank you, general. with respect to our drawdown, can you talk about nato's willingness to step up and add additional forces and resources there to supplement our drawdown? >> sir, my discussions with the senior member countries of the 42, most of them i believe will continue to support. but it's going to take a u.s. decision first before they do that. >> thank you, gentlemen. thank you. i yield back. >> dr. winstroke? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, thank you for being here today, as always.
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you know, on september 11th, 2001, an attack was launched on america. from a place that most americans never heard of. and bay person that most americans had never heard of. and when i think about the freedom that e enjoy in this country that came flying in our face that day that was at risk, i was reminded in an isolation cell that congressman sam johnson spent time in at hanoi hilton said that those that fight and almost died taste the freedom that the protected will never know and i sometimes think your accomplishments and throughout history and the freedom enjoyed are often taken for granted in america. i think that needs to be recognized. i think many in america and some in this room don't fully understand the effort and sacrifice that went behind every one of those ribbons and pin that is you wear and so many in our military wear and i want to
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thank you for that and all those that serve us in that regard. one of the thing that is you said today that really stuck out to me and i think you know why as a veteran of iraq, what stood out to me is when you said we honor their memory by building a stable afghanistan and i think that there's a lot to be staid for that. and i think history has shown and i believe that the greatest chance for peace on this earth comes from a strong u.s. military that can be reactive, can be postured well and can serve as a deterrent to evil doers and i think that's really what we're after. i think that's what we want to see happen. and so, my question today is, what do you think would be the bare bones level that we can maintain in afghanistan to prevent a vacuum like we have seen in iraq and what level gives you the most comfort or most assurance that that won't happen? and then, also, i want to get
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some of your thoughts on the benefits of the idea that even if we had a stable afghanistan that was able to stand on its own two feet, would there be benefits to us still being there in a postured position like we do in other parts of the world? >> sir, thanks for the question and thank you for -- thanks. i think, sir, i don't want to go in details on number and level. again, i provided options to the senior leadership. i feel comfortable with the option levels in terms of risk, higher is less. less increases at risk in general terms but i feel comfortable in those options and i know that senior leadership will continue to look at those and weigh those and i provided pros and cons of all that. but it was based on capability as we look forward. not numbers but capability needed based on afghan capability and then as you said, a u.s. ct mission, as well. we took a hard look and included that in there.
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i do think on presence -- you know, presence equals influence. if we're not there to provide influence somebody else will be there. whether that's russia, china, iran, you name it. the u.s. and having people on the ground provides influence. >> long term benefits from even a stable afghanistan? >> sir, you know, afghanistan lives in the neighborhood that doesn't follow the rules. take a look at the countries around it. very, very tough neighborhood. and again, presence equals influence. building a stable afghanistan to provide stability in that region, having a partner that want it is partner with the u.s. and the other coalition nations is key. we haven't had that last several years and i think we have an opportunity today to take advantage of that for a very modest continued nstment in both the money and personnel. >> thank you very much, general. i yield back. >> mr. gab bard? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, general campbell, for talking about presence equals
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influence and others have mentioned the instability and the threat of the same brand of islamic extremism in other countries around the region. would your recommendation be to maintain or deploy a u.s. presence of military service members to other countries in the region such as libya and yemen are facing similar threats and far greater stability than we're seeing in afghanistan? >> chairman dempsey before in that talked about a regional presence throughout different areas of the world and looking at that. >> how long do you suggest given the track record of the last 14 years in afghanistan that we continue to ask our service members to deploy to afghanistan on this similar train and equip mission given the lack of
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progress we have seen and given the failures we have seen in iraq and syria? >> i can't talk iraq and syria. i can disagree on lack of progress in afghanistan. i think there has been great progress. this season has and tough, and even progress, but our areas and capabilities continue to have issues that take any army a long time, building a private 63 years, build and maintain maintain it takes two or three years, we started late in afghanistan so that is one area we train for years to come. they want to take this song. that may have an attitude they want to do this by themselves. i think that we have an opportunity here where we have a willing partner where they want to improve on their own capabilities, the protected
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country in that part of the region not only providing stability protection for their own homeland but other regions. >> you're seeing an of an ended commitment from the military to maintain a presence there? >> we assess that and as we have done over several years we have gone from 140,000 down to 10,000, the amount of money continues to go down, very good in continuing to assess that. i sit in my opening remarks this is not without conditions and can be unlimited forever and ever but we have to assess that and make those calls as we go. i have been asked to lay it out for this period of time where afghan security forces are and that was something to do. >> given the corps option we have seen in all levels of the government in afghanistan including at the lowest levels talked about lot recently given what happened with the taliban taking over the city for a short
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period of time and people saying it is likely that was the first volley and one reason they were able to do so is the local communities there and we have seen this in other parts of afghanistan because of corruption by the afghan local police and local government people like getting shaken down multiple times and see perhaps the taliban as the lesser of evils in their daily life and their challenges what is being done about getting rid of this corruption so that the afghan folks you have been training can actually do this without us? >> thank you for the question. the senior leadership idea every day tries to go after corruption. that is a huge issue that has been there for years and years, they're trying to pick the right leadership and hold accountable, trying to get at it by looking
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at procurement, by providing the right education for leadership and the folks that join the army and the police. if you ask most afghans they will tell you they don't want the taliban. the taliban target and kill innocent women and children, put suicide vests on little kids and joaquin into marketplaces and say you are going to blow yourself. i don't believe the afghan people want that. they want a secure afghanistan and they have that hope because of a afghan security forces and the great work our men and women have done. >> in closing is deeply concerning to consider the idea of the we would ask our service members to go on this nation-building mission across the region, something we have to look at carefully, thank you. >> i appreciate the comments of the gentlelady. the week after next we are going
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to spend a week in this committee looking at train and equipment around a variety of countries and what has worked and what hasn't, are there lessons to be learned? this is a very important issue that we need to dig down deeper on because there are a number of instances where it has not worked very well. we need to understand that so i appreciate the comments. mr. nugent. >> i want to thank the general for your leadership to our troops, your service but as we move forward with the taliban what it ought not abilities to recruit and train? do we see an uptick in that or does it drop off?
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>> it stayed stable, it stayed level. they have surged this fighting season because they know this is an opportunity for them because we don't have the coalition members they had. they want to make a statement, remain relevant, show as potentially it moves to discussion of reconciliation they can operate from a position of strength so they have continued. when you have someone who has no job, no money, no future and someone offers you $200 that is pretty easy to do. what we have to continue to do is show the people of afghanistan they have hope and a better future if they continue to support the afghan security forces and the government. for the most part the afghan people do not support the taliban but there are going to be people -- >> if they don't support the taliban, where are they
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recruiting from? are the recruiting within? >> they recruit from afghanistan, there are reports of fighters coming in assisting the taliban. >> how are they trained? do we have a metric on how they are trained? >> there are areas inside afghanistan they have potential training areas outside afghanistan, sanctuary to provide the opportunity to train. when they conduct taxes, that is not something you could see from a large modern technological force. this is counterinsurgency, one or two people putting an idea out there, one or two people killing a few people so they don't follow the rules, they go out and caused fear in the people and that is what they want to do, year to make the
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government can't provide security for the people. it is going to take everybody in afghanistan to fight this but i do not believe the afghan people support the taliban. >> that is good to hear. i was there in 2011 and was struck with iraq and afghanistan, struck with the security level in afghanistan versus iraq in 2011. we had more freedom of movement in afghanistan, we had less restrictions on movement in afghanistan at that time. now i wonder where we are compared to 2011. when i was in iraq in 2011 everywhere we went was fast,
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quick, it was just the opposite in afghanistan as -- has that changed? if i go to afghanistan today will like see the same type of movements available to us? i got to visit with the afghan police training facility. >> where we were in 2015 we don't have that many areas. most of the areas you would have to go to you could probably travel by helicopter and landed a small location based on the downsizing we have there so we don't have a lot of folks that end up driving through on afghanistan at all based on location. as far as the afghans they continue to have freedom of movement on highway 1, throughout kabul, in general -- >> one last question.
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in 2007-2008 my older son was in afghanistan for 15 months and he said folks talk about back into the stone age, the problem is they are already in the stone age. has that changed at all? >> absolutely. especially in the cities in our parts of afghanistan you will still see people that are living in the very primitive housing but inside the city, cellphones, business, internet. >> thank you, my time is expired. >> thank you, i want to thank you for your service and specifically your courage, your willingness to come to washington and say candidly when you disagree with a policy, a thank you for that. as an iraq war veteran is it is hard for me to return to iraq,
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disheartening to say the least to see so much of what my colleagues fought for and achieved during the surge gone to waste so i am particularly interested in how you are learning from that experience to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes in afghanistan. one thing that stands out in particular to me is it is not just our rapid withdrawal of troops but failure to continue to support and influence the iraqi government that ultimately led to it falling apart. what happened in iraq was not just the failure of equipment and the troops, the iraqi army put their weapons down and went home because they lost faith in the government on the inside. was pulling those advisor is out of the prime minister's office. we forget maliki was in power during the surge when we met a progress and had stable government because of our
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influence. who are you talking with from the iraqi experience to make sure you don't repeat the same mistakes and can you give us examples of things you are doing differently than what we did in iraq? >> thanks for the question. in afghanistan we have a lot of iraq veterans seldom feel -- want to make sure we don't -- the we learn from our experience so as we do different plans, take a look at cooperation office and what will remain in kabul and how they did that in iraq and afghanistan, planners got together with planners, they talk, work through that and we made adjustments based on that kind of discussion so i feel confident we take a look, because military -- everything we do, we have to learn by that and we have done that. we have taken a hard look at how
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we do set up advisory teams, as we continue to downsize and provide some level of expertise in particular areas that can best help us but what you said is key to the fundamental difference between iraq and afghanistan, you have a government that is a willing partner in here that wants to continue to have a presence from the international community, favors it and wants to continue to grow a professional army different from what you saw. >> there are reports the government is suffering serious brain dream, lot of talent is leaving. are you seeing that? is it a concern? >> it is a concern if young people are leaving afghanistan. it is a concern that the same time i see great potential with the army, police, young men and women trained in the u.s. and
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u.k. germany and other countries, they continue to move up and increased responsibility and leadership positions and there is some really good talent, we just have to get them in the right position for the >> we are seeing cooperation for for, are they sharing power or is that an area of concern as well? >> they have to continue every single day to work at it. the president is the president, there is no doubt in his mind to the president is, they continue to work closely, no daylight between them. we work together in the security council and the cabinet meetings that there is no other choice. >> one last question following and mr. scott's question, the chairman and secretary of defense testified that using funds for the department is not
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a satisfactory way to ensure national security, do you agree with that position? >> i have been very fortunate to have resources that i need, and any services to continue to plan year by year. >> is important for you to understand that is the rationale for voting against the rationale of the we have taken as well. we hope we can change that situation by forcing the issue. it is not a reflection of lack of confidence. in you. thank you. >> i want to thank you for being here, it is just of fresh moment to have a bottom line general
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come in and say here is what i think, a couple comments i have, and i think i appreciate the gentleman's questions and opinion but i happen to have the opposite opinion. i think we are talking about symptoms be in here and we need to remind the american people live over the last three years certainly in my short tenure in congress for there has an evacuees of foreign policy and a lot of reactionary things happening, there hasn't a lot of support from this administration and when you have a president that stands up to falling back and forth politically the entire defense budget that has everything to do with the allocation of the good people you get money to support them is very dangerous and the american people understand that. and i appreciate so much your not being able to talk specifically about the true draw down and things i have seen from 1,008,000 and i appreciate your
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comment but i want to make sure we are talking for the record about when there is less presence, less influence, there's greater risk and that counts across the board. that would count with counterterrorism, force protection and missions. is that what influence means, the less presents the greater the risk. >> i would not argue with that statement is >> no one has talked about this but i am concerned because my other colleagues talk about policy, that you are just implementing a policy, it is not we are sending policy, administration is sending policy that can't be understood, creating a vacuum for the enemy and the american people understand as losses in iraq and the presence of russia and syria and certainly with the iranian proposal that was signed do you
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detect currently or you confirm about increased iranian presence and what that means now we are venturing in by an administration's desire to sign this agreement with iran? >> i will tell you about iranian influence on the taliban to fight isil. so as far as security forces are concerned and the impact from iran, if i can add not really on policy but as i asked for flexibility for 2015 demonization gave me that flexibility as i have asked for a bridging strategy and authority i was able to get that as well so i'm very confident as i provide options to my senior leadership that they put due diligence and scrutiny on that and that is what i expect and what the american people expect. >> to a further question on iran
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and the forces you are suggesting that take into account a new level of activity with tehran and kabul. >> we have seen reports of that with the ministry of defence specifically on the west, we have an italian contingent from out west that give those reports but i don't think we looked at that specifically is elected capabilities that are required. >> my final question is as we launch into uncharted waters with a disagreement with iran and should you see the need for things going awry for additional training, people and personnel should anything happen on the board you feel we have flexibility to go back again and tell the administration and the american people something is wrong, we need help? >> west, north, south, east of my job is to provide the best
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military advice unless issues i have concerns on raising that to my leadership. >> i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general campbell, thank you for your service to the nation. i think americans are getting tired of being bogged down in afghanistan. we have been there for 13, 14 years and it seems there is no end in sight. it seems like we are doomed to always maintain a troop presence there. i don't think that is something that is good for our country. for estimation building forever
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in afghanistan, exactly what the future holds for us, there's no point in our plans or the plans of those who want to build a nation of afghanistan, no stopping point. because whenever you to stop there is going to be some adjustments that have to be made so why not make the adjustment now? why not draw down our troops. if the russians are chinese want to come in and the players over there, good for them, i would think they would not want to embroils themselves over there, they would probably want to see the locals were carefree thing out. what do you say to that? >> i would say we have continued to redeploy and drawdown our
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forces, continue, 300 or 400 different outposts when i was there in 2010-11, if we're down to less than 20 today. we continue to draw that our forces, we have drawn down responsibly. we have the ability to do that so as we look forward we're trying to do is make sure we continue to provide the afghan support where they need that and do it reasonably and responsibly as we draw down in the areas and makes it tough for them. having unstable government, having a stable afghanistan is not only good for afghanistan and the region but also -- >> just seems like stability is not there and there will be no stability in the short term or in the foreseeable future. there won't be any stability with the u.s. presence with our 10,000 troops.
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do you believe we should maintain fat force level for the foreseeable future or should we think about driving down even further? >> as i said earlier i have provided options to the senior leadership the way is the pair pros and cons a different force levels of different risk and i set up front i don't believe it should be unconditional and it shouldn't be forever and ever and i continue to work through that. if you look at korea, germany, the forces we continue to have in those countries say, would they be as stable as they are today? >> that is exactly what the american people looking forward to with afghanistan, a multi decade presence over there. and if we do maintain ourselves as targets over there, as long as we are supporting the afghan
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government, a corrupt government which does not have the full allegiance of the people, that is high the factional over there, if we maintain our presence over there and being a target for those who just simply want to drive us out, then we are just stock and i don't believe that is a good thing for america. >> not sure of the question. thaw >> i think we are getting sick and tired of being sick and tired of the same thing happening over and over again in afghanistan. it is time for us to look at
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closing up shop. with that i will yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman and general campbell for your testimony, for your service, for your family support of decades of service to our nation. earlier this year i had the opportunity to participate in a delegation in afghanistan with mr. wilson and my colleagues on this committee and in addition to meeting with our troops deployed we also visited with the president who raised the threat in afghanistan, in your written testimony today use the, quote, it has grown faster than we anticipated and its continued development present a legitimate threat to the entire region. we have observed movements increase for going operational capacity. i wanted to see if you could a elaborate on specifically what you are seeing on the ground in
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terms of increased recruitment efforts, operational capacity and their presence in 34 problemss in afghanistan. >> sorry i wasn't here when you came through but thank you for taking the visit. it continues to be a concern, the security forces, pakistan has issues, if you talk to president donnie about it, what he would have told you this al qaeda was windows 1.0. the ability of social media to get out and recruit but taliban ideology is different. they continue to fight each other specifically in the east where we have seen the biggest presence. there are reports through a different provinces, probably 25 plus problemss we had reports but the significant presence in
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the east. predominantly in kandahar. i don't believe today, it was nascent. today i would say is operationally emerge and. we have to watch and make sure the afghans apply pressure on isis to make sure it doesn't continue to grow. as you know they are barbaric, brutal, as they have shown instances in afghanistan, cutting off heads of captives, taking men and women, throwing a lot up thailand blowing it up, afghan people have no time in the afghan security forces to go after is that. >> your assessment of afghanistan's approach to recruitment efforts, you talk
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about successful social media we are seeing throughout the middle east today and globally. what is your assessment of what the administration is doing countering that? >> they're working that through radio, tv, campaign and then showing benefits of that government supporting the afghan security forces. i don't think for the most part when they showed video of how brutal it is that turns people away so they have to work that very hard, they have done a good job at that and will continue to work together both with the forces on the ground and the neighbors in the region, president ghani from a regional standpoint has said we are fighting dykes', fighting for the entire region and they will hold a conference here where they bring all the operational
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intelligence arms. to talk about dice and how to combat that together. >> appreciate you being here. give us the size of the follow-up to the last question, give us a sense of the size of the dice and isis and their presence in the region? >> open source reporting this would be at to 3,000. with the next few years if not manage your contained? >> their stated goal is to build on a province that includes afghanistan, parts of pakistan,
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jalalabad, the capital, we will fight hard, and check to grow case and afghan security forces, there are operations going gone, in the first corps which is based there. >> we understand and have read some members of the taliban going for these networks. give us a sense because of the change in leadership, discussion or comments about other reasons why they have made that transition? >> obama that, pakistan, taliban, regular taliban switched over expressing
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allegiance to isil, diced, they think they will get more resources, more mia attention, a lot of these reasons you have folks who don't want to coming to the government reconcile, they want to continue to fight and they will join something new like dice, what is happening in iraq and syria and for whatever reason why somebody would want to do that, as they see that as something they want to do so from the regional standpoint president ghani, they want to fight this and continue to get it now before it grows out of control as you talked about. >> thank you, appreciate it, and i will yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you for your service. i had a couple quick questions. give me an idea of the
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definition of train and assist. i went to poland and some other countries and was feral the interest with the interaction we had with u.s. forces. what is going to happen when they are through with their training? what can we expect from them? how are they going to interact? those types of things. >> the numbers we have, transparency and accountability, sustainability, strategic communications, our trainers are the only weapon systems we have, much more senior folks where this war would have been about privates and captains and sergeants and senior generals
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and lieutenant colonels and senior civilians trying to bring technical expertise to build the capacity of the afghan ministry, we don't have people at their basic training, providing marksmanship, they do that themselves. the afghans do their own training, technical areas but they don't have the expertise, the maintenance areas and pilots, that is where they do the training. >> very good. with the recent issues with russia, air strikes in syria can you give me an idea of the level of the weekly or monthly interaction you get with, i will use different terms, between commanders and people of that level the four stars get
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together and talk about what is happening in the region. i know this region has been to the west of view, but it is going to affect what happens in afghanistan or the caspian sea. i suspect that i connecting interactions between the commanders between what is happening now. >> general austin is sent, commander, i have e-mail and video telephone conversations, general rodriguez, i know they talk quite frequently to understand, terrorism has no boundaries, good relationship between the commanders but mostly general austin through isn't come --centcom i talked to
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senior leadership in india, talking about how that plays and how they are tied in with afghanistan and what that means to china and pakistan and afghanistan is tied into that. president ghani is reaching out to the entire region. i was in germany for a day, brought the chiefs of defense from five countries surrounding afghanistan to bring them together to talk pakistan, they're all came together to talk about regional issues, border issues, drug smuggling, how to enable each other to do that. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i want to talk a little bit about the capacity of the afghan troops we are training. from your testimony you
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characterize the performance of the afghan national security forces as uneven, inconsistent, requiring broad support, you talk about the fact without key enablers and operational level leaders they can't handle the fight alone. in contrast you talk about how they are able to amount operations and seemed to be much more successful. what i am concerned is we seem to be talking a lot in our metrics about training security forces in terms of numbers, how many do we think they need to accomplish the mission as opposed to the capacity or quality of the forces. we are a little overfocus on troop levels in terms of quantity be you laid out a few significant threats in afghanistan in the region so as the president evaluates the troop advisory levels can you explain what primary issues and
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variables continue to plague the ability to carry out its mission independently and compare that to those who are able to have the capacity to do this on their own. >> thank you for the question. i was tough on the afghan security forces and i talked to the afghan partners about all of those and you have to have that type of relationship to continue to improve and values, we are not at the levels, we are at the ministry of levels those some of those comments focus on senior leadership. what i told president ted ghani is if you put the right leadership in place and told them accountable that will take care of 70% of the issues we see day today out there. one of the reasons that afghan special forces are where they are is we continue to provide at
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the tactical level with them today. we don't do that with all the conventional forces. they have the ability based on their size, much smaller and the training they go through that they have done very good force generations cycles so they are able to go training, take some leave and they go into the fight. for the most part, the rest of the operational force they don't have that. if you have been there for three years, you will fight for three years and you had very little opportunity to train, very little opportunity to take leave and they're working hard trying to figure out how to work the fourth generation cycle into the conventional side and they want to get after that as one of their parties if they have this low after the fighting season. if they can't get their, their performance will continue to improve. they have some good young leadership with a captain and lieutenant colonel levelland they need more experience. i was very tough, some of the
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words i do believe they continue to improve and are very resilient and with continued time they get much better. >> one of the key factors is their high a wall rate and lack of sufficient force generation level and you can take the rest of the time to answer. since it is below back thursday i am going to use an old-fashioned term. i feel there's a real lacking in the leadership training that is going on here, front-line leaders, in your testimony you talk about the fact that when they execute delivering operations that are resources they are successful so what is going on? high-level says, even more junior than your lieutenant colonels but younkers than that.
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>> the attrition level is because of poor leadership, they don't have sergeants or company commanders or platoon leaders the know everything about them and take their welfare into consideration like we do in our services year, they don't have the noncommissioned officer rule, the backbone of all our services to look after those things so they're working on that and as you said the generations cycle if they got better would reduce the level of attrition as well. and you have to go through a leadership course before your brigade commander goes through the same thing, we started, have not run a capstan type of course for general officers and that would get initiated so the human capital leadership continues to work. >> it is year 14, we don't know how many years we can keep doing
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that. a thank you, i yield back. >> mr. russell. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i look at these killers on a wall behind us, 11 streamers from the philippine campaign and from 1899 to mid 1913-15 period windows 11 streamers' where and we debated the same thing is about love worthiness of can we train the philippine constabulary, can we bring him to justice, can we deal with the insurgents, can we? yet we did. transition the government successfully. we did execute him and bring him to justice, we saw our warriors achieve all of that despite what
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we hear in the halls of congress often questioning. i look back on 9/11. at that time two thirds of the country was under control of the taliban and very little of it was in the hands of anyone that had freedom. girls were not allowed to go to school, could and fly kites. to play a radio or play chess in kabul, a i remember it. we have seen successful elections and transition of government successfully. i remember working with the british second parachute regiment when the afghan national army was nothing but 600 people that showed up and now we see 150,000. what strikes me it is isn't it wonderful we are debating 150,000 troops in the field and their capacity for intelligence,
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command and control and complex operations, thank god we reached that point to get to that point and the we are having a debate in this discussion and is due to warriors like this that are sitting force that makes it possible. thank you for your perseverance and patience in enduring our questions. status of forces agreement often we saw that that was a problem with the iraq experience. we are much further along with president ghani. having worked with dr. doug wolf lab and that national security conference in 2002 we do have some capability in kabul with the leadership. any limitation on the status of forces that you can see moving forward? as we more for the troops, based
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embassy, strike force, not train and assist, any shortcomings we can assist you with? >> i am seen none. we have worked through those but absolutely none right now. >> that is very encouraging. you made note that the strength of the a and a was a was not fractured. that is an important point. they haven't broken, they have retaken ground and they are determined to fight, they don't drop their weapons and run. speak to that a little bit. >> people try to compare iraq and afghanistan, in the july timeframe taliban to over, took that afghans a little time to reorganize, they change out some leadership, put every battalion commander in jail, they made the right corrections, resupply, get back to the research center but it took a couple weeks to do that. they're very methodical as they went about that but they got
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that done. they did it much quicker and in a couple days inside the city have taken a hard look like all our services figuring out why that happened to make sure it doesn't happen some place else and that is a sign of professional army or professional police. any sign of the government that wants and cares for the security force quite frankly president kabul syncing is commander-in-chief. >> our own history of the united states army 40 years after our formation, we kept this exposed and and it was set on fire. i am glad our nation didn't give up on us at that time. the authority to strike are you allowed any independent prohibitions on your command level to strike independently or does it have to go through the
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afghan structure? >> strike and straight insurgents, a protection issue to our forces. >> thank you for your dedicated service to our nation, thank you, a yield back. >> good to see you, thanks for your continued service to our country and everything you doing, great to see you in may when we were on the congressional delegation. i know the current situation with a hospital is under investigation but i want to ask about targeting process, last time i was over there in uniform, my time in the air operations center we would usually strike under two circumstances, counterterrorism dynamic targeting in which case decisions and positive identification and collateral damage was done at the headquarters or we were under controller's control in close air support and we had u.s.
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troops people all over isn't nation but sometimes it was back at headquarters and not in the fight we were hitting but they were the ones calling the shots making sure we had the collateral damage assessment. can you walk me through, maybe this is not in the setting or classified answer but the targeting process is on the u.s. side and also if the afghans are asking support how do we go through and make sure we have that? i imagine you see challenges with less forward presence and getting that done correctly? if you could share that? >> i would rather go to a classified session. i would say we continue to ensure we are very precise, it is very rigorous. >> with troops being pulled back to centralized locations and
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less numbers is more challenging to get that good in tel? >> it may be more challenging. >> more of a challenging situation. afghans ask for support. >> the afghans ask for support like they do almost every day it still has to go through our process. >> there were some setbacks or delays in moving things forward we were trying to do because of the fragility of the unity government, which delays and setting up defense minister, that brought things to a standstill. and individuals in that afghan security forces and parliament,
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uncertainty, delaying a lot of things, have things changed since may and have things gotten better? >> on the administrative -- and acting trust and confidence, a great vision for the future ministry of defense, he would be the minister, july 4th, didn't get to parliament doing quite well. to ensure they continue to serve in that position. there have been hold back waiting for waiting to find out where the u.s. is going to go post 2016. after that we get a lot of questions. >> the national air force and
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capabilities, and can you just share what we need to do? obviously that is a significant shortfall. >> everyone is working hard, part of it will take time, it takes two to three years, afghanistan understands they have to make tough decisions, two or three years out they put the right number of people in for the right training to get through pilot training and give a don't make those decisions, everyone is working hard to get there. we have some restrictions that inhibited the long hall. they're working through when they started the fighting season, from this fighting season based on structural integrity of aircraft they won't be able to fly looking down 17s which are not designed for the
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platform, helicopters coming in and get the fixed wing aircraft we talked about earlier that will help but we're taking a holistic look at the continued fight, the attrition level of the aircraft. >> thanks to you and your family for continued faithful service to the country. >> patiently answering questions, more importantly very much appreciate you and those who serve with you for what you do every day for the security of our nation. working with afghans in other ways. challenging circumstances, an external environment, part of them placed upon you by the chain of command and it is clear to all of us the make the most of the situation for the country's security and we are grateful for your service.
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with that the hearing stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> it is not a matter of expressing that. those things, we have to get at it. >> there are legitimate
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frustrations. i was surprised when general campbell said something like this before. we have been training the army for eight nine years. >> we were so absorbed in beating al qaeda at that it hasn't taken that long. i don't think it was malfeasance, this takes a long time, we have been columbia long time but look at where they are now versus where they have been. and the week after next, train and he quipped, syriac, afghanistan, but historically and of broader context what are the lessons, is it always hard, particular circumstances in every country beyond our control
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or lessons we can apply more broadly to different countries in our efforts to improve their security forces, we can't do that ourselves. someone has to help us do it. you heard somebody today mention poland. we have our eyes with differing capabilities. how well we organize, equipped and prepared to work for those different cases. this is a very important question. >> will lead the education. we have closed round table and outside experts and administration witnesses, try to understand but also unknown in on what we are doing now. is it working or not or things to do differently? >> we are going to have an
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answer. >> has given him the recommendations but he also said if you heard it that it is important that we provide stability to the fragile unity government so they know we are not bailing on them. >> are they willing to keep more troops there? >> they will follow us. u.s. leadership is what matters which i don't think nato will be there. if we are there i do think the countries will contribute. >> we're nine years is a long time. it hasn't worked to this point. >> that is what we want to explore not only with afghanistan but other countries as well. i do think we shouldn't be too cavalier at how hard this is.
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somebody said when they are here in 2002-2003 there were 600 folks in the afghan army guarding the presidential palace. meanwhile they've been under constant war during this time. i don't want us to have this arrogant attitude why like this in a year or two. on the other hand there are a lot of frustrations, not just iraq, afghanistan, iraq, syria. it is our job to understand why things have not gone as well as we wanted. not just the way we train people but not organized in life. train and equip issues.
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this is the big question, we can't go fix everything ourselves. the faraway countries affect us. >> are you concerned caucus members -- >> i would be concerned if any group put conditions on anybody running for leadership. i don't think that isn't good idea. speaking of which i am heading there. >> today is the 20th anniversary of the million man march with a rally on the national mall. the event's theme is justice or else and will include remarks by louis farrakhan. all day coverage begins live at 10:00 eastern on c-span.
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>> every first lady should do something to help the things she cares about. everything in the white house should be best. the same liberals over. i think it is good in a world where there is quite enough to divide people, we should cherish the notion. >> images as political spouse, young mother, fashion icons and advocate for the arts. as television came of age that are tragic images of president kennedy's assassination that the mentor in the public mind. jacqueline kennedy this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. first ladies, examining the public and private lives of the women who feel the job of first lady and their influence on the
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presidency from martha washington to michelle obama sunday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span2. >> you are watching the tv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> your other programs to watch for this weekend on booktv. on afterward former meet the press moderator david gregory discusses faith and religion in his book how is your faith, he is interviewed by washington post columnist and founding editor of on faith, sally quinn. the $100 million mark zuckerberg donated to newark, new jersey schools in the prius, who is in charge of america's schools. also this weekend, coverage from the tenth annual portland book festival beginning at 1:00 p.m. saturday was the office, and the

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